October 20, 2021

America faces supply-chain disruption and shortages. Here’s why | Matt Stoller

There’s a quiet panic happening in the US economy. Medical labs are running out of supplies like pipettes and petri dishes, summer camps and restaurants are having trouble getting food, and automobile, paint, and electronics firms are curtailing production because they can’t get semiconductors. One man told me he couldn’t get a Whopper meal at a Burger King in Florida, as there was a sign saying “Sorry, no french fries with any order. We have no potatoes.”

Imagine that, no french fries in America.

The problem seems to be getting worse, as the shortages pile on top of each other like a snake eating its tail. For instance, the inability to fix trucks means that truck drivers can’t haul boxes of goods, which might actually contain the parts needed to fix the trucks, and so forth.

There are multiple arguments about why the problem is as bad as it is. Everyone agrees that the…

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